Clearing the Rubble: A weekly introduction to the world of ideas

A discussion group held every Tuesday.

This group will operate on the assumption that members enter the group with no prior knowledge of philosophy. The group will on the other hand assume we are all engrossed in understanding our lives and our place in the grand scheme of things. Major concepts will be dealt with in ways that allow knowledge to be acquired over many weeks. Indeed, the mere acquisition of book knowledge, it will become clear, is only one of the objects of the group. Rather, members will become aware that listening is a key philosophical faculty and that occasional thought-through comments have special power to move the group on. Members are encouraged to engage with others in a convivial atmosphere at a level they feel comfortable with. Existing members are however welcome to join the group to refresh their knowledge of the main trends, ideas and watersheds.

We will look at the key concepts, methods and practises that form the bedrock of philosophy, from the Homeric myths to the beginnings of speculative thought, coming down to existentialist thinkers like Sartre and post-modern thinkers like Foucault and Derrida. We will ask why every apparent movement of the frontier forward seems to be accompanied by a return back to the source of thinking. It has been said that all philosophy since Plato has merely been to add footnotes to his work. Were the key ideas really decided all that time ago? You will build up to ask questions like this, questions that take you to the very nature of thinking and the relations between the great minds of the past.

Each week the facilitator will give a brief introduction, followed by discussion, which can continue over lunch.

Please refer to the Calendar on the main page for up-to-date location and time details, as well as what will be happening in the next group.


Image credit on main page (detail) and above (in full): Oil on canvas painting entitled ‘Piling Wreckage Upon Wreckage’ by Penelope Siopsis (completed 1989). Photograph by ‘Nkansahrexford’, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.